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2013 Washington Capitals Thread

Man cannot live by Redskins alone

Lanky Livingston

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Looks like season will start on January 19th, the Caps will probably start in Florida vs. the Panthers. Will be a very-tight, 48-game schedule.

Nick Backstrom went to Michigan to see a specialist about the injury he suffered in the KHL. Originally just reported as a bruise, there's a lot of speculation as to what really happened. Michigan is where Crosby went to see a concussion specialist, so there are some speculating Backstrom's concussion problems may have returned.

First-round draft pick Tom Wilson has been invited to training camp. At 18 he's a very long shot to make the team, but it will be interesting to see how he does. Could also be an indication that they need bodies, and that Laich is not up to snuff either.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Fantastic news for the Caps today - Backstrom is on the ice and says he is 100%. He confirmed he went to Michigan to see the same concussion specialist that Sidney Crosby saw, and was cleared completely.

Neuvirth hasn't returned to the team yet; I'm guessing he's upset that he's still in a backup role. Holtby is the starter at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to see them try and move Neuvy before the season starts to a goalie-hungry team, or even to the Bruce Boudreau and the Ducks in a package for Bobby Ryan (wishful thinking on my part, sigh).
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

I don't know that I want to go into the season with Holtby and Sabourin. Holtby I'm confident in, but....

I also think this short season is going to be something approaching playoff hockey, intensity-wise. Points are too precious when you're playing fewer than 50 games. A hot streak can really set you up, but a slump can bust your balls in a heartbeat.

Glad Nicky's OK though. I've said this to a number of other Caps fans lately, and haven't gotten an argument yet...he's the best player on this team right now.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Yep, Backstrom is definitely the team's best player. Ovi was on a tear in the KHL though, so maybe that will translate back here. With a new, more offensive-oriented system, I could see him at least approaching his previous levels of greatness.

Also, Neuvirth finally made it back to town, so it'll be Holtby & Neuvirth.
 

SkinsOrlando

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Kent State

While I appreciated the work Hunter did, our offense became atrocious with his philosophy, there must be middle ground. I believe we'll see Ovie get back to a little less than normal under Oates than what we saw last year.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Looks like Ovi is going to get a lot of work at right wing; Oates likes his right-hand shots on that side and left-hand shots on the left side.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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I think we need to see Neuvy vs. the Habs. I'm not putting the 5.0 GAA solely on Holtby's shoulders, but you can see the lack of preseason work has hurt him. He looks rusty and slow. He's taking weird angles, and not controlling rebounds. We're missing defensive assignments too, which doesn't help, and I'm not sure I look Ovi on the PK either. He can certainly hit, but I don't think he's very "aware" defensively; especially shorthanded.

Hopefully we'll get the kinks worked out soon and pick up some momentum. This team is a lot better than the first two games would indicate. *capt. obvious*
 

Lanky Livingston

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Defense is an abomination right now. On that Kane/Wheeler goal, Carlson and Alzner got beaten like rented mules. They're supposed to be our shut-down D pair; if they're getting beat like that, we're in some serious trouble.
 

Lanky Livingston

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This goal by Hendricks was pretty awesome:


Ovechkin had the move of the night, dangling the puck then putting it through the D Man's legs.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Apparently Ribiero was high-sticked twice with no call - was gushing blood, and required several stitches to fix him up. Good to see the refs are back to their A-games, lol.
 

tshile

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They're just playing bad hockey right now. I don't know if that's because they have a new coach, a new system, the strike-shortened season, if they're just a bad team, or a combination of some or all of the above.

What I do know is that it only took 3 games for the local media to start jumping up and down about the team.
 

Lanky Livingston

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They're the only team in the NHL without a point. They've been outscored 14-6 in three games. They've held a lead for roughly 2 and a half minutes out of 180. Bad hockey is an understatement.

Ovechkin, to me, looks uninterested; like he flew back from Russia but his head stayed there. We don't have a fantastic top-6 WITH Ovechkin playing his best; without him playing his best, forget about it.

Some of it can probably be attributed to the new system, however I don't know what is going on with our D. Carlson looks like he's never played hockey before.

Neuvy actually played rather well last night, considering - just like Holtby, he's not getting very much help. The whole team just looks like its in disarray at this point, not really sure what the fix is.

I don't really know what the problem is, but if they don't fix it soon, playoffs will be out of reach faster than they realize.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

"Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! We're just trying to win a game! Playoffs?!"

I missed last night's game, which was probably good for my blood pressure. But regarding Ovi, I just don't think he's the same player physically anymore, let alone what's going on in his head. I haven't seen the burst he's capable of (or was) in at least two seasons. I don't even bat an eye when he touches the puck anymore, honestly.

Also, while I love the game of hockey, I can't say I fully understand the schemes involved. I get some of it, but not the way I do, say, football. Can someone explain to me what the biggest differences are between Hunter's style and Oates'?
 

Lanky Livingston

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"Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! We're just trying to win a game! Playoffs?!"

I missed last night's game, which was probably good for my blood pressure. But regarding Ovi, I just don't think he's the same player physically anymore, let alone what's going on in his head. I haven't seen the burst he's capable of (or was) in at least two seasons. I don't even bat an eye when he touches the puck anymore, honestly.

Also, while I love the game of hockey, I can't say I fully understand the schemes involved. I get some of it, but not the way I do, say, football. Can someone explain to me what the biggest differences are between Hunter's style and Oates'?

I'm not very familiar with Oates' scheme, but Hunter ran a defensive-minded, dump 'n' chase scheme. Throw the puck into the O-zone from behind the blue line, then send one, maybe two guys down to get it, leaving the others back to defend. It calls for a lot of back-checking, grinding out on the boards. Whereas with Boudreau, as soon as someone got the puck, he and 3-4 attackers, usually along with a DMan, enter the zone to score. You get a lot more goals that way, but as we saw in playoff meltdowns, you often leave the goalie and that one remaining DMan out to dry and give up a bunch as well.

Defensively, Hunter also wanted to play man-to-man, which like the NFL, is you have a guy and you stick to him. I believe Oates is running more of a zone system. There could be some transition issues with that, but most of these guys ran a zone under Boudreau, so it shouldn't be that big of a thing. Seems to me, never having played a second of hockey in my life, that zone would be better simply because its friggin hard to skate around following someone all the time. Although, it probably relates closely to half-court defense in basketball.

EDIT: Those are very simplistic explanations, I'm no hockey expert. ;)
 

tshile

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Yeah I'm a casual fan that just watches a lot of games so I can't really comment on those things. Lanky you may be right, but I stand by the idea that it's only 3 games in and I think it's too early for the 'blow it up' comments we've been hearing.

I wasn't even sure anyone should take the season seriously given how short it is, much less get this angry about it 3 games in :)

But I'm not emotionally attached to the team the way the diehards are.
 

tshile

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I have no idea how the game will end tonight, but the comeback was something fun to watch and you could see a momentum change and the releif on the players' faces.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Horrible no-call on the Ovechkin trip, which led to the goal. It was clear to me that a stick went into Ovi's skates, and while he didn't immediately go down, it was the direct cause. Should have been a trip.

The more pressing issue is the regression of John Carlson - he's now been on the ice for 7 straight goals against, and 12/17 this season. This kid took a small step back year, but seems to be taking a giant leap backwards this year. What is the issue? Is he injured? Mind-bottling.
 

tshile

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Should that have been a penalty? I've never played hockey and when you add to that that I'm a casual fan I just don't know where the fine line of letting them play and calling the penalty lays :\

To me the bigger issue was that Ovie decided to go on an all out attack that had no chance of working, which left his team vulnerable :(

Is Carlson on the top line this year? Because most of the goals have been against the top line this year (if I'm remembering what the announcers said last game). I just wonder if Carlson is just on a line that is not playing well, or if the line is the worst line because he's on it...
 

Lanky Livingston

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Good morning, good afternoon & goodnight Buffalo! Caps win!
 

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